Saturday, 20 September 2008

Splendid Splenys

As you can see I have finally finished the Austrians and am pretty pleased with the result. I had never painted any Austrian infantry before and was a bit concerned that my black outlining on white was going to look too stark (besides giving me the model painters version of snow blindness). It was only when the whole unit was assembled that I felt I had achieved the required look.

The unit represents a Battalion of the Hungarian 51st Gabriel Spleny Regiment. I ended up using 16 vintage figures and 8 Clayton produced figures to complete them. The figures are as follows:

1 x AN9 Standard Bearer (Clayton)
3 x AN21 Hungarian Officer Charging (2 vintage, 1 Clayton)
1 x AN22 Drummer (Clayton)
13 x AN24 Hungarian Charging (8 vintage, 5 Clayton)
1 x AN30 Grenadier Officer Charging (vintage)
5 x AN33 Grenadier Firing (vintage)

It was only as I painted them that I really began to see the differences between the Clayton figures and the vintage ones. The metal used in the Clayton castings is lighter and more bendy than the vintage ones and the figures are thinner. This suggests to me that the Clayton moulds may have been made from other figures rather than from the Hinton Hunt masters. This tends to fit in with the suggestion that many of the masters were destroyed in a fire before the HH range emigrated to the USA.

Next up I have some more Austrians but I’ll keep their identity a surprise for now.


Anonymous said...

Lovely Ian :-) I think you really capture that vintage painting style perfectly, it works so well on those figures. I like the 'knots' on the trousers, nicely done. Great unit.

Can I ask, were the HH figures ever sold in those neat little labelled boxes like the early Hinchliffe range and other ranges? Do you remember those? I have an old 70's Hinchliffe catalogue here with photos of the staff and Frank H and Peter Gilder, and the casting team in their brown overalls! Pure nostalgia!

Keep it going Ian!


Stryker said...

Hi Lee

To the best of my knowledge the HH wargame figures were never sold in boxes (although the larger 54mm Figures were). The figures used to arrive in a Jiffy bag with no other packaging and no identification (other than the codes under the bases). Often they were so jumbled together that there would be several broken bayonets. Presentation was not Hinton's strong point in my opinion, but there was nothing quite as exciting as the arrival of one of those Jiffys!

Thanks for you comment,


Anonymous said...

And very smart they look too!


Stokes Schwartz said...

Hi Ian,

Your regiment is gorgeous! Lovely work.

Best Regards,


Anonymous said...

Hi Ian
Very nice work !
I spoke to david clayton about the missing HH masters, And he told me he used original painted figures that people had donated or lent him
to make the molds.
It would exsplain why some of the figures are thinner.

Stryker said...

Hi Paul

That's very interesting. I just had an email from someone who actually used to work with Hinton in the early 70's - he says that Hinton himself often made moulds from figures rather than masters. Fascinating stuff!